Couture project moving forward

Developer to purchase site by end of April

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Milwaukee developer Rick Barrett is planning to purchase the site currently occupied by the Downtown Transit Center from Milwaukee County before the end of April and begin construction this year on The Couture.

Rendering of the Couture
Rendering of The Couture

“We are in discussions with the county and city and look forward to beginning demolition this year pending final approval from the (Federal Transit Administration),” Barrett said. “We applaud the Milwaukee County Executive for his leadership in this transformational project.”

Barrett, the owner of Barrett Lo Visionary Development, said the $122 million project will achieve what the Downtown Transit Center was meant to become – a vibrant, multi-modal transportation hub at Milwaukee’s lakefront.

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The 44-story luxury apartment building will take 32 months to complete once construction begins. The Couture project will have 302 apartments, about 50,000 square feet of retail space, public parking, transit connections and numerous public amenities, including a connection to the Lakefront Gateway Plaza.

It will be built on the site currently occupied by the Downtown Transit Center, a bus storage and transfer facility, at the southwest corner of Lincoln Memorial Drive and Michigan Street, near the lakefront in downtown Milwaukee.

In 2013, Milwaukee County chose Barrett and his proposal for The Couture. The project was delayed by threats of litigation by parks advocacy group Preserve Our Parks, which said the site was originally part of Lake Michigan and therefore private development there is forbidden by the state’s public trust doctrine.

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The group dropped its lawsuit in September 2015

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